Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
"The art of building a home": by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, pp. 6-8 ff.
³THE ART OF BUILDING A HOME²: BY BARRY PARKER AND RAYMOND UNWIN 7 S A nation we do not easily submit to coercion. We want a hand in the government, national or local. We are pretty direct if we do not like a senator or a governor, and express our opinion fully of our ministers and college presidents .In more intimate matters of courtship and marriage we regard ourselves as more independent than any other nation. We marry usually whom - we please, and live where we please, and work as we please< but when it comes to that most vital matter<building a home, individuality and independence seem to vanish, and we are browbeaten alike by architect, builder, contractor, interior decorator, picture dealer and furniture man. We live in any old house that anyone else has discarded, and we submit to all manner of tyrannies as to the size, style and finish of our houses, impertinences ihat we would not permit in any other detail of life. We not only imitate foreign ideals in our architecture, but we have become artificial and unreal in all the detail of the finish and fittings of our homes. How many of us would dare to rise up and assert sufficient individuality to plan and build a house that exactly suited our personal ideal of comfort and beauty, and represented our station in life? And to what extent can we hope for finer ideals in a country that is afraid to be sincere in that most significant feature of national achievement<the home. We are a country of self-supporting men and women, and we cannot expect to develop an honest significant architecture until we build homes that are simple, yet beautiful, that proclaim fine democratic standards and that are essentially appropriate to busy intelligent people. That this same state of affairs prevails somewhat in other lands (though nowhere to the same extent as in America) we realize from the writing of two well-known English architects, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, who in a series of lectures published under the title of ³The Art of Building a Home² have entered a plea for greater honesty in architecture and greater sincerity in decoration which ought to strike a responsive chord in the heart of every American who has contemplated the foolish, unthinking, artificial structures which we have vainly called homes. In the introduction to this vital valuable little book Messrs. Parker and Unwin take up the question of lack of thought in architecture in so simple, straightforward and illuminating a fashion that it has seemed wise to present it to the readers of CRAFTSMAN HOMES as expressing our creeds and establishing more fully our own ideals! ³~HE way we run in ruts is wonderful: our inability to find out the right principles upon which to set to work to accomplish what we take in hand, or to go to the bottom of things, is simply astonishing: while the resignation with which we accept the Recognized and Usual as the Right and Inevitable is really beautiful. ³In nothing is this tendency more noticeable than in the art of house-building. We begin by considering what, in the way of a house, our neighbors have; what they would expect us to have; what is customary in the rank of life to which we belong; anything, in fact, but what are our actual needs. About the last thing 6
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